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PFAS found in Millennium Park lakes, state says no need to be concerned

The highest concentration came in less than half of the state's maximum allowed level of 12 parts per trillion.

WALKER, Mich. — Low levels of the contaminate PFAS were found in the lakes at Millennium Park in Walker. On Tuesday, state officials detailed their findings at the 1,400-acre park during a public forum.

The PFAS was discovered in a test conducted in 2021 from the former Riverside Sand and Gravel Landfill that's now part of the park.

"None of the surface water samples are above any criteria, which is good news," says Kent Walters, PFAS site lead for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).

In fact, in the park's lakes, none came close.

"We collected seven samples from seven of the largest lakes in Millennium Park," says Walters.

While six out of the seven lakes did have levels of PFAS, the highest concentration still came in less than half of the state's maximum allowed level of 12 parts per trillion.

As part of the presentation, the state explained the highest risk for exposure is to drink contaminated water.

"PFAS absorption through the skin is typically not a concern," says Rosa Jaimon, a toxicologist for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service. "So, people can keep using the water to clean their house or dishes, for showering, or for any other recreational activities."

The state says there are no known residential drinking wells downgradient from the landfill. And on top of that, assures the levels are low enough regardless.

"Even if you are exposed to levels that are at the regulated levels or a little beyond, if you are exposed to that, would not necessarily mean that you are going to get health effects," says Jaimon.

The investigation also took samples from fish in the park this month. Results from that test could take a while still, but currently, there is no advisory against fishing or eating fish from the park's lakes.


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